So, I've gotten email and messages about the photogrpah I've used in several pieces about how our lawmaking process doesn't appear to work. It is interesting to me, in fact. For I deliberately chose a work of art that moved me, that i thought was noteworthy. Quite the contrast to my opinion about Congress. It strikes me, the little men moving the little cogs...somehow making it all work and keep time. I wish our government functioned like this, with various forces pushing and pulling at each other...manipulating resistance and gravity and intertia like a symphony to sound. At least in my most idealistic moments, it should run smoothly. But if not, it should at least be propelled by its function, and not its form. A beautiful broken clock is nice to look at. An ugly functioning clock is better. A beautiful, functioning clock is a thing of beauty, a thing of goodness.
The work you see here in a Noteworthy picture is of a model clock I saw in Terminal 3 of the Toronto International Airport. It rests atop a time capsule dedidcated at the opening of the terminal in 1991. When I first saw it, perhapes 3 or 4 years ago on a business trip, it struck me as something I should stop and smell its rose. We should do that from time to time, right?
This work in chrome is entitled "Six Man Clock" by Mr. Gordon Bradt of Arkansas. Mr. Bradt is a sculptor, engineer and owner of some 20 or more patents. There is another large 15 foot version of this clock inside the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. Mr. Bradt makes clocks of all sizes and a few other things too.
Six Man Clock at Pearson Airport, Toronto
The simplicity, yet complexity of the design actually gets in the way of its true beauty and the essence of why I love Bradt's work. You see, the most wonderful thing about his clocks is that they are exposed to natural light. You get to watch it work. It is an excercise in mathematics, music timing, natural illumination and the imagination of man all at once. We humans extract materials from the earth, manipulate them into machinery, and do it for the sole purpose of measuring and marking our brief, fleeting moments of life. Time tells us that life is, doesn't it? Isn't that how we know life is happening, that we are truly alive...by the passage of time? Shouldn't democratic government also attempt to mimic a transparently functioning clockwork? I think so.
One of the wonderful things about being alive is taking note of things. Seeing things, hearing things, smelling things. Keeping journals, perhaps writing something important. On occasion, I like to step back and attempt to write something I'll probably be proud of in twenty or thirty years. Something especially fundemental in form and function. Something almost...timeless.
Let's go back to October of 2006 when it became known that Denny Hastert had inexplicably failed to act on numerous reports that GOP Rep. Mark Foley had been sexually harassing male House pages via ...